There is a Christmas song that goes “All is calm, all is bright.” I sincerely wish that was the case this season. Depending on where you were it may not have been that way. Many places did not experience what I like most about the Christmas. Often everyone seems more tolerant, forgiving and charitable, which usually lasts until the credit card bills come in January.
I always enjoy it when I find words of wisdom without looking. They may well for me be the greatest gift of all. It starts me to dreaming of what the world could be if we all lived by those doctrines. I recently found printed “The Corporal Works of Mercy” on my mother-in-law’s house keys which I borrowed to insure re-entry after a night of mild carousing (all that I can do at this age) with a friend. As I was putting the keys back I noticed the words written on the key chain holder. Not being raised Catholic, to me it was a new discovery. The Works are as follows… Visit the Sick, Clothe the Naked, Welcome the Stranger, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, Feed the Hungry, and Bury the Dead. It made me wonder how I compared.
I asked myself do I visit the sick? If someone who is in my immediate family gets ill I do visit them and ask if there is anything I can do. Currently that is easy to do as I have little immediate family in the area. I can only hope that I would take the time if I saw someone injured to help them in any way I could or use my resources to help out my family who does not live locally.
As for clothing the naked goes, I do donate improperly fitting clothes to the free clothing store. I know few naked people, although I did visit a nudist colony for an interview once. Even the people I saw weren’t totally naked as it was a cold day and they were wearing shirts or light jackets and sneakers. The only other naked people I know don’t seem to stay that way for long. Other naked people must get arrested before they get anywhere near my door, for none have ever come. I suppose I would welcome them and offer them something to wear, if they so desired. I have welcome other strangers into my home before. Sometimes it worked out, other times not so well.
I’m the kind of guy that if I have an extra drink and you’re thirsty, it’s yours. I do have a bit of a germ phobia regarding allowing people to drink out of my bottle but will allow it, if you are truly thirsty. Please don’t be offended, though, if I wipe it off real good or if you have bleeding mouth sores, give you the remainder claiming I’m no longer thirsty.
The magazine I do, “Olive Trees,” has been the vehicle which has allowed me to visit the imprisoned. Since somewhere around 2001, pages 16, 17 and 18 have been devoted to the works of an ever growing body of poets, the incarcerated of New York State and now Indiana. I have visited the Auburn Correctional Facility to watch performances by The Phoenix Players and visited a poet just before his release to wish him well due to this connection.
In an attempt to feed the hungry I do give pan handlers spare change and have performed at benefits for food pantries. I am still a bit selfish with my chocolate and may hide it, so no one asks if they can have some, but I’m getting better at sharing than I ever was.
As for burying the dead go, I won’t leave any one lying there, though I wish it wasn’t such a legal hassle.
After reviewing I realize I’m not perfect but I guess I’m trying. Just think what would happen if we all tried to do the best we could. The buck stops with each of us! ~ Ron